Japan's Reds stun Shanghai to reach Asian final| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 10 December 2022 02:53 GMT

Japan's Reds stun Shanghai to reach Asian final

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Brazilian Rafael Silva snatched the winner as Japan's Urawa Reds shocked star-studded Shanghai SIPG 1-0 at home on Wednesday to reach the Asian Champions League final.

The Reds advance to face Saudi giants Al Hilal in next month's two-leg championship clash after holding on for a 2-1 aggregate win that ended Japan's miserable recent run in Asia's premier club competition.

Silva pounced after just 11 minutes in Saitama when he met a Yosuke Kashiwagi corner to power a header past Shanghai goalkeeper Yan Junling for what proved to be the only goal of a fractious encounter.

Japanese clubs have struggled to make an impact in the competition since Urawa's victory in 2007 and Gamba Osaka's triumph a year later.

Although Shanghai largely dominated possession, with Brazil internationals Oscar and Hulk threatening in spells, the visitors lacked end product, allowing Urawa to complete a relatively untroubled victory.

Hulk, who tops the Champions League scoring charts with nine goals, brought a smart save from Reds keeper Shusaku Nishikawa with a dipping free kick after 24 minutes.

But the Reds could have added further goals in the second half as a Tomoaki Makino header clipped the bar and Shinzo Koroki saw a close-range effort brilliantly tipped over by Yan.

Another Hulk rocket 12 minutes from time forced a decent block from Nishikawa, who then reacted quickly to smother Elkeson's follow-up.


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